Hair Loss – what to do (the update)

HAIRLOSSUPDATE

I’ve covered the route for those who aren’t so bothered about the chemical aspect of cosmetics (the route I took myself initially and last year!) but I’m now keen to try a natural alternative to keep my whole body (and hair) healthy, so I wanted to compile an alternative post for those wishing to try all-natural to combat hair loss themselves.

  1. Supplements and diet – make sure you’re taking Biotin (1000mcg) every day for your hair (if you are at a safe weight and are okay health-wise to do so). I swear by this and always have done, plus it isn’t something which you will need to worry about harming your scalp! I know I don’t need to bang on about it – eating right helps too, but I know that isn’t always so easy.
  2. Use natural oils – Instead of conditioner, switch to oils. It’s a bit messy, yes, but you can buy squeezy bottles which make life easier. Even expensive conditioners contain silicones and chemicals which are less than helpful for your hair. Also take into account that any conditioner claiming to ‘aid hair loss’ is making a mistaken claim because combatting hair loss really does begin and end with the scalp. The rest of your hair is dead, so whilst combatting breakage will help your hair retain thickness and is important to the health and look of your hair, it won’t stop it from falling out at the root. I love castor oil and coconut oil. (You can read my post all about castor oil and its fabulous hair benefits here!)
  3. Invest in essential oils – Essential oils are renowned in alternative and homeopathic medicine for many health benefits, some of which are calming or uplifting effects on the mood which are added benefits to using them for your hair if it has been caused by anxiety or an eating disorder. Certain essential oils are specifically good for hair – such as Rosemary and Peppermint. Rosemary is said to maintain a healthy scalp and shiny locks, and peppermint stimulates the scalp – that’s why it is tingly when you apply it. I use a Rosemary Hair Oil every week which smells lovely and does my hair the world of good – click here for the recipe.
  4. The Inversion Method – I’ve only recently come across this – I’ve always massaged my scalp to aid hair growth but this is quite a sophisticated way of doing so which promises some pretty drastic results! I’m not sure everyone will see a few inches growth in just weeks as some internet die-hards claim, but it definitely makes sense to give it a go. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now – my hair already grows very fast and I’ve had decent regrowth round my forehead but I’m looking to sort some of the patchiness on the back of my head so I will see how I get on with those and post an update! I use the Rosemary Oil in conjunction with the Inversion Method to make it super-potent.
  5. Natural shampoo – When you’re losing your hair, you’ll try anything. (I have!). There’s countless hair loss shampoos on the market but as with all mainstream shampoos, they’re full of chemicals and we all know how harmful they can be for your skin and hair. Whilst I saw fantastic results from Alpecin and Nioxin, I’m really starting to move more towards natural methods now I’m maintaining my hair and regrowth. Natural shampoos can be hard to come by (lots claim to be natural or Organic, but they actually just contain a few natural ingredients and are not 100% natural). If you don’t feel you can, or want to, go all-natural, then try to choose the next best thing – it will be fine if you follow the next step, which is….
  6. Don’t wash your hair as much – I wash my hair once a week only. I know there will be lots of horrified people reading this – but honestly, I haven’t had anybody notice!! What I have personally noticed (and had comments on by friends and family) is the thickness and healthy look of my hair. When you first stop washing your hair so regularly, you of course feel towards the end of the week that your hair is a little greasy or looks a bit oily at the roots. I combatted this originally by using Klorane dry shampoo in between washes – but I haven’t had to use it anywhere near as much as I thought I would need to. (Now I use a chemical-free, home-made cocoa dry shampoo – recipe here!) The reason washing your hair less aids hair loss is that it allows your scalp to maintain a natural cycle and means you are not exposing your hair and scalp to chemicals so much, which not only strip the oil from your hair (confusing your scalp into producing more, hence more washing) but you are also possibly helping your hair loss by using harsh artificial detergents. You’ll notice that the greasiness really is only in the scalp area, and that this will only last for the first couple of weeks or so whilst it adjusts to not being stripped constantly. Now, after 2 months of only washing once a week, I generally don’t need to wash my hair more than that.

Combatting hair loss can happen, and it can be easy, it just takes time and patience (a lot of it!) I know from experience that it’s easy to become obsessed with progress and how much you’re shedding etc but the best thing you can do is secure a routine, follow it religiously and keep positive until you see the results.

Fancy going all-natural? Take a look at my no-poo post here!

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PLUS: Read What Not To Do for more tips

Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Rosemary Hair Oil treatment for hair loss

ROSEMARYHAIROIL

I’ve been using this treatment for a while now and I love it so much! It makes my hair lovely and soft and thick feeling – but it also washes out fairly easily which is a bonus as sometimes natural hair masks can take a few washes and leave an unpleasant residual stickiness behind. It also smells AMAZING!

People ask me a lot about hair loss so I wanted to post this recipe for everyone to try. It’s dead simple to do and absolutely worth doing, especially if you’re re-growing your hair. It’s made up of three simple ingredients:

  1. Castor Oil – If you’ve read my post on Castor Oil you’ll know I absolutely love it – I was always dubious about putting oil on my hair because it’s naturally very sleek and straight and I always want more body in it – but I have always been more than ecstatic with the way Castor Oil makes my hair look and feel.
  2. Coconut Oil – Coconut is an all-round superstar in my book – I eat a HELL of a lot of it, but I also use it for my hair. An increasing number of people use coconut oil for lots of different beauty uses – from make-up cleanser to body cream – but it’s been shown to be really good for hair growth too. That’s because it penetrates deep into the scalp and hair follicles to stimulate growth – maintains a healthy scalp and moisturises the hair to prevent breakage. If you can, source a cold-pressed, virgin organic coconut oil – Tesco do one now which is very reasonably priced too!
  3. Pure Rosemary Essential Oil – Rosemary oil is renowned for its hair-loving properties. It has antibacterial qualities which stop hair follicles from becoming clogged, can help prevent a flaky scalp – plus it has also been shown to stimulate the scalp (like peppermint and caffeine), bringing blood flow to hair follicles which can help with hair loss. It helps maintain natural shine and bounce and has been used for years in Ayurvedic medicine and Mediterranean and Indian cultures.
  4. Almond Oil – Almond Oil is absorbed really well by the hair and contains high amounts of Vitamin E. It moisturises any broken or split ends, helping to repair them and prevent breakage.

 

Method:

  • Combine 2 tsp Castor Oil and 2 tsp Almond Oil with 2 tsp Coconut Oil (Coconut Oil is solid at room temperature in the UK so you’ll need to scoop it out and measure as best you can) in a microwaveable container.
  • Pop the mixture in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds – this should warm it up enough but not too much. Make sure you test it with your finger before slopping it on your head!!
  • Add 4-6 drops pure Rosemary essential oil (plus any others!). Mix and then dip your fingers into the mixture. Keep dipping and massaging in all over your scalp.
  • I pile my hair up on top of my head and leave the oil on for 2-3 hours if I can, half an hour at the very least. Some people like to wear a warm towel to further seal in the oil but I find it works well without this hassle!
  • Rinse out well with shampoo – you may need two washes and make sure you have covered all the hair with oil on it in shampoo to ensure you don’t get any greasy strands left.

I use this every week or every two weeks if I’m feeling lazy and I really rate it. I’d love to hear about your experiences – if you try the mix let me know how you get on!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Castor Oil – Hair Loss Saviour

castor oil

You may have read some of my posts about hair loss – something which affects many women for a number of reasons additional to anxiety and eating disorders. Whatever the case, hair loss can result in a severe lack of confidence and cripplingly low self-esteem.

Recently I started losing my hair for the third time. Obviously I was devastated, and became more and more panicky the longer it continued. Patches started to show and my long hair began to hang thinly in limp strings. I cut about 4 inches off it to create the illusion of thickness and improve the sad-looking appearance of it.

About a month ago I also started using Alpecin caffeine shampoo and a Wella SP serum I first used when I was 14 which has always been really effective. There’s been a small improvement with these, but nothing remarkable, nothing which stopped me scraping it into a tiny ponytail with despair each day.

I love Pinterest, and I was searching it for hair loss solutions. I came across a myriad of posts about Castor Oil and its hair thickening properties, and decided to try it. I read that the darker Castor Oil was more potent than its lighter counterparts – Amla had also been cited as a hair-loving ingredient, so I opted for the pure Jamaican Mango and Lime Black Castor Oil with Amla.

Castor Oil promotes hair health and prevents breakage by swelling the hair root to make it look thicker. It also has antibacterial properties which help to heal and cleanse the scalp. The oil is really thick and I was a little nervous about slathering it all over my head – my hair is very straight and fine anyway so getting oil out of it has always been a bit of a challenge. Desperate, however, I did so with gusto and left it on for a few hours while I went to the gym.

When I washed the oil out, my hair didn’t feel weighed down or greasy. I hoped it was all out and blow dried it upside down as normal.

I have never seen volume like that with any expensive hair product I have ever used before! My hair just looked like it used to, thick and swishy yet not at all weighed down by the oil. I felt so happy and confident; my comfort blanket was back. Of course, by the next day it was looking flat and dreary again. However after using the Alpecin every wash and doing a Castor Oil treatment once every week I have seen a huge amount of growth at the base of my scalp. So many little baby hairs growing in thick clumps around my hairline, and a lot less falling around the house.

I’d definitely recommend trying Castor Oil if you’re struggling with hair loss. I’ve used it in conjunction with Alpecin; so this may also be an option for double-growth. Coupled with my tips in my other hair loss posts, hopefully you should see some progress!

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